Secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in women: Closing the gap

Aarti Thakkar, Anandita Agarwala, Erin D. Michos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in women globally. Younger women (<55 years of age) who experience MI are less likely to receive guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT), have a greater likelihood of readmission and have higher rates of mortality than similarly aged men. Women have been under-represented in CVD clinical trials, which limits the generalisability of results into practice. Available evidence indicates that women derive a similar benefit as men from secondary prevention pharmacological therapies, such as statins, ezetimibe, proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors, icosapent ethyl, antiplatelet therapy, sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists. Women are less likely to be enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation programs than men. Mitigating risk and improving outcomes is dependent on proper identification of CVD in women, using appropriate GDMT and continuing to promote lifestyle modifications. Future research directed at advancing our understanding of CVD in women will allow us to further develop and tailor CVD guidelines appropriate by sex and to close the gap between diagnoses, treatment and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere41
JournalEuropean Cardiology Review
StatePublished - 2021


  • Acute MI
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Disparities
  • Secondary prevention
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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